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A House Full of Females : Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870
by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


Overview - From the author of A Midwife's Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for History, and The Age of Homespun --a revelatory, nuanced, and deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women whose seemingly ordinary lives belied an astonishingly revolutionary spirit, drive, and determination.  Read more...

 
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More About A House Full of Females by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
 
 
 
Overview
From the author of A Midwife's Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for History, and The Age of Homespun--a revelatory, nuanced, and deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women whose seemingly ordinary lives belied an astonishingly revolutionary spirit, drive, and determination.
A stunning and sure-to-be controversial book that pieces together, through more than two dozen nineteenth-century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books, and quilts left by first-generation Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, the never-before-told story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon "plural marriage," whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, fifty years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, writing of this small group of Mormon women who've previously been seen as mere names and dates, has brilliantly reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give us a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their "sex radicalism"--the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307594907
  • ISBN-10: 0307594904
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: January 2017
  • Page Count: 512
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.95 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Religion > Christianity - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (
Books > History > United States - 19th Century
Books > Religion > Christian Life - Women's Issues

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-11-14
  • Reviewer: Staff

Pulitzer-winner Ulrich (A Midwifes Tale) gives readers a day-to-day look at the hardships early Mormons endured as pioneers and religious outlaws but also takes a broader view of longer-term changes in the religion. The book opens dramatically with Mormon women being granted the right to vote, joining Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthonys crusade for womens suffrage, and protesting an 1870 law ending polygamy. They acted out of patriotism, religious zealousness, and the belief that their church offered more equality than in the Gentile worldeven though Brigham Youngs leadership was less inclusive than Joseph Smiths and plural marriage had become a de facto requirement for the powerful. Still, women maintained the right to choose their spouses, and could also choose whether to be sealed to them for eternity. Impeccable scholarship and a fascinating topic suffer somewhat from the books organization. Each chapter moves ahead chronologically, but Ulrich also frequently jumps out of sequence, and because she writes about a fair number of people, many of whom have similar names, the problem multiplies. The author takes no view herself on the practice of plural marriage and simply presents history as it occurred, although in her acknowledgments she writes, I did not find it odd that my father had both a grandmother... and a Grandma on the hill. (Jan.)

 
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